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Notable Parker Alumni

What ‘Right’ Looks Like: Alumnus Lt. Gen. Leslie Smith is Highest-Ranking Military Official in University History


Lt. Gen. Leslie C. Smith (‘85) is charged with a mission unimaginable to many of us.

As the 66th Inspector General of the U.S. Army, Smith works for the Secretary of the Army and is tasked with the enhancement of total readiness for 1.2 million Army soldiers and civilians stationed around the world. He’s the highest-ranking military official Georgia Southern has ever produced. Out of more than 6,000 second lieutenants commissioned in 1983, Smith is one of only 52 who have reached the rank of general.

Smith’s ascent to Army leadership would have proven an improbable path for anyone. But considering the challenges he faced at a young age, and the humble beginnings from which he emerged, the achievement is even more remarkable.

When Smith was only five years old, his father, Calvin, a veteran of the Korean War, died suddenly. In his absence, Smith’s mother, Lillie, raised her three children on her own, and worked hard to create an environment where they could succeed. To hear Smith tell the story, however, it was all part of a plan — a higher calling in his life.

For Smith, the way was paved by his family and his community, who expected great things from him, who invested in his life, and who taught him “what right looks like.”

Parker’s Promotes Chief Operating Officer Jeff Bush to President


Parker’s is proud to announce the promotion of Parker College of Business alum Jeff Bush (ECON, ’13) to president, effective January 1, 2019. Bush will assume the position from longtime president and CEO Greg Parker, who will continue to serve as the Chairman and CEO of the Parker Companies.

“Now is the perfect time for Jeff to step into this leadership role, and I am confident that he will help us achieve new levels of success as we continue to expand our footprint throughout the region,” said Parker. “Jeff is a strong, smart, thoughtful leader who has distinguished himself over the past six years as a core member of the Parker’s leadership team.”

Bush currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Parkers, overseeing the daily operations of all 54 retail stores throughout southeast Georgia and South Carolina and focusing on personnel, fuels, pricing, supply and logistics.

In 2012, Bush was handpicked to become the convenience store company’s Director of Fuel Operations after impressing Greg Parker, who served as guest speaker in an Economics class at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Ga. (now Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus), with his thoughtful questions. Bush, a Presidential Scholar and cum laude graduate, earned a B.A. in Economics from Georgia Southern University (formerly, Armstrong State University) and was recently named to the Georgia Southern University Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018. Bush has also been honored as a Savannah Morning News’ GenerationNext Rising Star of Business and included on Convenience Store Decisions’ list of 40 Under 40 Leaders to Watch.

Last updated: 4/8/2021